Full-time Academic Staff

  • Teaching Staff

Prof. P.C. Lai 賴寶珍 教授

BES, MA, PhD Waterloo

Office: 1005
Phone: +852 3917-2830

For web-link to the HKU Scholars Hub, please click here.


PC Lai is Professor in the Department and Honorary Deputy Director of the Geographical/Land Information System Research Centre. She was Associate Dean of Faculty of Arts (1998-2003). Prior to joining the University, she was affiliated with Department of Geodetic Science and Surveying of the Ohio State University (1989-92) and Department of Geography of the University of Maryland at College Park (1983-89). Dr. Lai specializes in digital/geographic information systems and environmental health. She has served as a technical consultant to various public/government agencies in United States, and more recently in Thailand and for the World Health Organization.

Research Interests

Geographic Information Systems (including public and environmental health applications); cartographic modelling and spatial analyses; thematic cartography (including election, socio-economic, and tactile mapping); environmental mapping and 3D spatial display; transportation studies and network analysis.

Research Publications after 2000 (* = lead or corresponding author)

Wong, H.T., Wang, J., Yin, Q., Chen, S., Lai, P.C.* (2017). The potential benefits of location specific biometeorological indexes. International Journal of Biometeorology (US: Springer), accepted 03/2017. doi: 10.1007/s00484-017-1343-z.

Lee, M., Brauer, M., Wong, P., Tang, R., Tsui, T.H., Choi, C., Cheng, W., Lai, P.C., Tian, L.W., Thach, T.Q., Allen, R., Barratt, B. (2017) Land use regression modelling of air pollution in high density high rise cities: A case study in Hong Kong. Science of the Total Environment (Netherlands: Elsevier BV), 592:306-315.

Low, C.T., Stimson, R., Chen, S., Cerin, E., Wong, P.Y., Lai, P.C.* (2017). The subjective assessment of urban quality of life in Hong Kong: An overview, Social Indicators Research (Netherlands: Springer), doi:10.1007/s11205-017-1579-3.

Wong, H.T., Lai, P.C., Chen, S. (2017). Biometeorological modelling and forecasting of monthly ambulance demand for Hong Kong, Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine (China: Medcom Ltd), 24(1):3-11.

Ge, E., Zhang, R., Li, D., Wei, X., Wang, X., Lai, P.C.* (2017). Estimating risks of inapparent avian exposure for human infection: avian influenza virus A (H7N9) in Zhejiang province, China. Scientific Reports (UK: Nature Publishing Group), 7:40016. doi: 10.1038/srep40016.

Cerin, E., Zhang, C.J.P, Barnett, A., Sit, C.P.H., Cheung, M.C.M., Johnston, J.M., Lai, P.C., Lee, R.S.Y. (2016). Associations of objectively-assessed neighborhood characteristics with older adults’ total physical activity and sedentary time in an ultra-dense urban environment: Findings from the ALECS study. Health & Place (US: Elsevier Science Ltd.), 42:1-10.

Low, C.T., Lai, P.C.*, Li, H.D., Wong, P.Y., Chen, S., Wong, W.C. (2016) Neighbourhood effects on body constitution - a case study of Hong Kong, Social Science and Medicine (US: Elsevier), 158:61–74.

Lai, P.C.*, Choi, C.C.Y., Wong, P.Y., Thach, T.Q., Wong, M.S., Cheng, W., Krämer, A., Wong, C.M. (2016) Spatial analytical methods for deriving a historical map of physiological equivalent temperature of Hong Kong, Building and Environment (UK: Pergamon- Elsevier Science Ltd). 99:22-28.

Sallis, J.F., Cerin, E., Conway, T.L., Adams, M.A., Frank, L.D., Pratt, M., Salvo, D., Schipperijn, J., Smith, G., Cain, K.L., Davey, R., Kerr, J., Lai, P-C., Mitas, J., Reis, R., Sarmiento, O.L., Schofield, G., Troelsen, J., Van Dyck, D., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., and Owen, N. (2016) Urban environments in 14 cities worldwide are related to physical activity. The Lancet (UK: Elsevier Science Inc). 387:2207–17. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01284-2

Cerin, E., Sit, C.H.P., Zhang, C.J.P., Barnett, A., Cheung, M.M.C., Lai, P.C., Johnston, J.M., Lee, R.S.Y. (2016) Neighbourhood environment, physical activity, quality of life and depressive symptoms in Hong Kong older adults: A protocol for an observational study. BMJ Open (UK: BMJ Publishing Group). 6:e010384. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010384

Wong, P.Y., Lai, P.C.*, Low, C.T., Chen, S., Hart, M. (2016) The impact of environmental and human factors on urban heat and micro-climate variability, Building and Environment (UK: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd). 95:199-208. doi: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2015.09.024

Ge, E., Lai, P.C.*, Zhang, X., Yang, X., Lie, X., Wang, H., Wei, X. (2015) Regional Transport and Its Association with Tuberculosis in the Shandong Province of China, 2009-2011, Journal of Transport Geography (UK: Elsevier Sci Ltd), 46: 232-243.

Lai, P.C.*, Chow, C.B., Wong, H.T., Kwong, K.H., Liu, S.H., Tong, W.K., Cheung, W.K., Wong, W.L., Kwan, Y.W. (2015)  Effects of Geographic Scale on Population Factors in Disease Diffusion Analysis, Journal of Acute Disease (Singapore: Elsevier B.V.), 4(4), 281-286.

Lai, P.C.*, Chow, C.B., Wong, H.T., Kwong, K.H., Kwan, Y.W., Liu, S.H., Tong, W.K., Cheung, W.K., Wong, W.L. (2015) An Early Warning System for Detecting H1N1 Disease Outbreak - A Spatio-temporal Approach, International Journal of Geographical Information Science (UK: Taylor & Francis), 2015: 1-18.

Thach, T.Q., Zheng, Q., Lai, P.C., Wong P.Y., Chau, Y.K., Jahn, H.J., Plass, D., Katzschner, L., Kraemer, A., Wong, C.M. Assessing spatial associations between thermal stress and mortality in Hong Kong: a small-area ecological study, Science of the Total Environment (Netherlands: Elsevier Sci BV), 502(1), 2015: 666-672.

Lai, P.C.* & Wong, F.H.TWeather and Age-Gender Effects on the Projection of Future Emergency Ambulance Demand in Hong Kong. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health (Malaysia: Sage Publications Inc), 27(2), 2015: NP2542-NP2554.

Adams, M.A., Frank, L.D., Schipperijn, J., Smith, G., Chapman, J., Christiansen, L.B., Coffee, N., Dominguez, D.S., du Toit, L., Dygrýn, J., Hino, A.A.F.,  Lai, P.C., Mavoa, S., Pinzón, J.D., Van de Weghe, N., Cerin, E., Davey, R., Macfarlane, D., Owen, N., Sallis, J.FInternational variation in neighborhood walkability, transit, and recreation environments using Geographic Information Systems: The IPEN adult study, International Journal of Health Geographics (UK: Biomed Central Ltd), 13, 2014: 43.  doi:10.1186/1476-072X-13-43

Lai, P.C.*, Chow, C.B., Wong, H.T., Kwong, K.H., Kwan, Y.W., Liu, S.H., Tong, W.K., Cheung, W.K., Wong, W.L. Population Factors Affecting Initial Diffusion Patterns of H1N1, Population Health Management, 17(6), 2014: 390-1.

Lai, P.C.*
, Kwong, K.H. and Wong, H.T. Spatio-temporal and stochastic modelling of the severe acuterespiratory syndrome (SARS), Geospatial Health (IT: GnosisGIS), , 8(1), 2014: 183-192

Levin, N., Singer, M., Lai, P.C. Incorporating Topography into Landscape Continuity Analysis – Hong Kong Island as a Case Study, Land (Switzerland: MDPI AG), Special Issue "Landscape Perspective on Environmental Conservation,"2(4), 2013: 550-572. doi:10.3390/land2040550.

Plass, D., Chau Y.K., Thach T.Q., Jahn H.J., Lai P.C., Wong C.M. and Kraemer A. Quantifying the burden of disease due to premature mortality in Hong Kong using Standard Expected Years of Life Lost, International Journal of Public Health (UK: Birkhauser Verlag AG), 13(1), 2013: 863. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-863

Wong, P., Lai, P.C. and Hart, M. Microclimate variations between semienclosed and open sections of a marathon route, Advances in Meteorology (US: Hindawi), 10, 2013: Article 287934.

Lai, P.C.*, Low, C.T., Tse, W.S., Tsui, C.K., Lee, H. and Hui, P.K. Risk of tuberculosis in high-rise and high density dwellings: an exploratory spatial analysis, Environmental Pollution (UK: Elsevier), 183, 2013:40-5. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.11.025

Wong, F.H.T. and Lai, P.C. Weather factors in the short-term forecasting of daily ambulance calls, International Journal of Biometeorology (US: Springer), 58(5), 2013:669-678.

Low, C.T., Lai, P.C., Tse, W.S., Tsui, C.K., Lee, H., Hui, P.K. Exploring Tuberculosis by Types of Housing Development, Social Science & Medicine (Elsevier), 87, 2013: 77-83.

Wong, H.T., Lai, P.C. Weather inference and daily demand for emergency ambulance services, Emergency Medicine Journal (B M J Publishing Group), 29(1) , 2012:60-64. doi: 10.1136/emj.2010.096701

Low, C.T., Lai, P.C., Tse, W.S.C., Tsui, C.K., Lee, H. & Hui, P.K. Does it matter to live on lower or higher grounds? An analysis of tuberculosis prevalence and building heights. Respiratory 17(Suppl.2). 2012:69-73.

Lai, P.C.*, Wong, W.C., Low, C.T., Wong, M., Chan, M.H. A small-area study of environmental risk assessment of outdoor falls, Journal of Medical Systems (US: Springer), 35(6), 2011:1543-1552. doi: 10.1007/s10916-010-9431-1.

Cerin, E., Chan, K.W., Macfarlane, D.J., Lee, K.Y., Lai, P.CObjective assessment of walking environments in ultra-dense cities: Development and reliability of the Environment in Asia Scan Tool-Hong Kong version (EAST-HK), Health and Place, (Pergamon), 17(4), 2011:937-945. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.04.005

Lai, P.C.*, Kwong, K.H., Mak, A.S.H. Assessing the applicability and effectiveness of 3D visualisation in environmental impact assessment, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design (Pion Ltd.), 37(2), 2010:221-233. doi:10.1068/b34141.

Lai, P.C.*, Mak, A.S.H., So, F.M., Leung, T.S., Kwong, K.H. Modelling voter behaviours by geographic information technology: A case of Hong Kong in 2004, Annals of GIS (Taylor & Francis Ltd.), 16(1), 2010:15-25. doi: 10.1080/19475681003700849.

  • Wong, H.T. and Lai, P.C. Weather inference and daily demand for emergency ambulance services, Emergency Medicine Journal (UK: BMJ Group), 2010. doi:10.1136/emj.2010.096701

    Lai, P.C.*, So, F.M. and Chan, K.W. Spatial Epidemiological Approaches in Disease Mapping and Analysis, (Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group), 2009. (ISBN-13: 978-1-4200-4546-8)

    Lai, P.C.*, Wong, M., Chan, M.H., Wong, W.C., and Low, C.T. An ecological study of physical environmental risk factors for elderly falls in an urban setting of Hong Kong, Science of the Total Environment (US: Elsevier), 407(24), December 2009: 6157-6165. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.08.042

    Lai, P.C.*, Chan, K.W. and Mak, S.H. A Teacher's Guide to GIS Operations: Using Geographic Information System for implementing enquiry learning in Geography. 地理信息系統教師操作指南 -  利用地理信息系統在地理科推行探究學習. Books and CD-ROMs (Hong Kong: Personal, Social and Humanities Education Section, Education Bureau), 2009. (English - ISBN: 978-988-8019-07-6 / Chinese - ISBN: 978-988-8019-06-9)

    So, F.M. and Lai, P.C. Spatial Epidemiology of Asthma in Hong Kong. In Lai, P.C. and Mak, A.S.H. (Eds) GIS for Health and the Environment: Development in the Asia-Pacific Region, Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography (Berlin: Springer-Verlag), 2007: 154-169.

    Lai, P.C.*, Li, C.L., Chan, K.W., and Kwong, K.H. An Assessment of GPS and GIS in Recreational Tracking, Journal of Park and Recreation Administration (US: Sagamore Publishing) 25(1), Spring 2007:128-139.

    Mak, S.H., Yip, K.M. and Lai, P.C.  Developing a city skyline for Hong Kong using GIS and urban design guidelines, URISA Journal (USA: Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) Winter 2005, 17(1):33-42. 

    Lai, P.C.* and Yeh, A.G.O. Assessing the Effectiveness of Dynamic Symbols in Cartographic Communication, The Cartographic Journal (UK: Maney Publishing) December 2004, 41(3):229-244.

    Lai, P.C.*, Wong, C.M., Hedley, A.J., Lo, S.V., Leung, P.Y., Kong, J., and Leung, G.M. Understanding the Spatial Clustering of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Hong Kong, Environmental Health Perspectives (US: Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) November 2004, 112(15):1550-1556.

    Yeh, A.G.O., Lai, P.C.*, Wong, S.C. and Yung, N.H.C. The Architecture for a Real-Time Traffic Multimedia Internet Geographic Information System, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design (UK: Pion Ltd.) May 2004, 31(3): 349-366.

    Huang, P. and Lai, P.C.  The detection of significant points and simplification of digitized curves, Journal of Geographic Information Sciences (CA: CPGIS, UC Berkerley) December 2001, 7(2): 131-6.

  • Additional Info - Grants, Governments & Community Appointments, etc.

    Current Research Projects

    1. Integrating Spatio-Temporal Analysis and Molecular Epidemiology to Study the Transmission of Tuberculosis in China (Co-I with CUHK: Hong Kong GRF)
    2. The Geospatial Education Forum (GEF): Resolving the challenges of a New Geospatial Education Curriculum (Co-I with PolyU: Hong Kong GRF Teaching and Learning Related Initiatives) 
    3. Measuring and modelling Quality of Urban Life (QOUL) in Hong Kong – An Asian Perspective (PI: Hong Kong GRF)
    4. The Hong Kong D3D Study: A dynamic three-dimensional exposure model for Hong Kong (Co-I with King’s College London: US Health Effects Institute)
    5. A cohort study for effects of environmental thermal stress and air pollution on mortality for the older population in Hong Kong (Co-I: Hong Kong GRF) 
    6. Understanding the relative contribution and interactive effects of psychological, social and environmental correlates of physical activity, sedentary behaviours and dietary behaviours in Hong Kong adolescents (Co-I: Health and Medical Research Fund) 
    7. IPEN adolescent: International Study of Built Environments and Physical Activity (Co-I with San Diego State University: US National Institute of Health)
    8. Understanding the impact of the neighborhood environment on physical activity, quality of life and depressive symptoms in older adults (Co-I: Hong Kong GRF)

    Recently Completed Projects

    2013 Home and neighbourhood environment: associations with children's physical activity and obesity-related dietary behaviours (Co-I with CUHK: Health and Health Services Research Fund) 
    2011 Use of GIS in geocoding tuberculosis cases in Kowloon West (PI: Kwong Wah Hospital) 
    2011 Spatial analysis of fall incidents in Kowloon West (PI: Kwong Wah Hospital)
    2010 Forecasting daily ambulance demand using spatio-temporal models (PI: Hong Kong GRF)
    2010 Estimating demand for emergency ambulance services of Hong Kong in 2016-2036 (PI: Hui Oi-Chow Trust Fund) 
    2010 Geographic information systems for early detection of pandemic influenza outbreak in Hong Kong (PI: Research Fund for the Control of Infectious Diseases)
    2010 Climate change and environmental health – the impact of thermal stress on the mortality and morbidity in urban Hong Kong: Development of a coordinated methodology between multidisciplinary experts from Hong Kong and Germany (Co-I: Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme)
    2010 Mega-city energy efficiency and environment (Project team: UDF's Initiative for Clean Energy and Environment) 
    2009 Resource package on the use of geographic information system (GIS) in geography lessons (PI: Education Bureau) 
    2008- 09 GIS and GPS training course for senior secondary geography teachers (PI: Education Bureau)
    2007 Development and validation of measures to study the relationships between the built environment and physical activity behaviour in Hong Kong residents (Co-I: Hong Kong GRF)
    2007 A distributed network for secondary school teachers with a pedagogic focus on geographic information system (GIS) and field studies (Co-I: IT in Education Partnership Incentive Scheme)
    2007 Spatio-temporal GIS analysis for environmental health (PI: Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research)
    2006- 07 A survey of medical and environmental factors on elderly falls (PI: Kwong Wah Hospital)
    2006- 07 Resource package on the use of geographic information system (GIS) for developing enquiry learning in geography (PI: Education Bureau)
    2006 Geospatial research and application frontiers in environmental and public health systems (PI: Professional Services Development Assistance Scheme)
    2005- 06 Assessing service quality and satisfaction among diverse recreation visitors of the Pokfulam Country Park (PI: Hui Oi-Chow Trust Fund)
    2005 Footprints of poets of the Tang and Sung dynasties (PI: Louis Cha Fund – Chinese Studies)
    2005 Engaging geographic information systems in the development of three-dimensional models for environmental impact assessment (PI: Professional Services Development Assistance Scheme)
    2002- 05 Integrating the teaching of transportation and geographic information systems in Hong Kong's tertiary education (Co-I: Teaching Development Grants)
    2004- 05 Application of the geographic information system to the analysis of electoral and socio-economic data by districts (PI: Central Policy Unit)
    2004- 05 A pilot study of the impact of air pollution on health outcomes in elderly Chinese: The Guangzhou cohort study (subcontracted by Community Medicine, HKU: Health Effects Institute)
    2004- 05 A Public Web-GIS Platform for Analysing Visual and Environmental Impacts of Construction Projects in Hong Kong (PI: Environment and Conservation Fund)
    2004- 05 A public consultation and web-based system for analysing visual and environmental impacts of reclamation works in the Victoria Harbour (PI: Hui Oi-Chow Trust Fund)

    Community Services/Recognition

    2013 ERC Environment, Space and Population Review Panel, European Research Council, Apr-Jun 2013.
    2013 Co-organiser of Health Symposium on Geography, GIScience, and Health: Spatial Frontiers of Health Research and Practice, 2013 AAG Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, California on 9-13 April 2013.
    2012 Programme Committee, The 4th Forum on Environmental Remote Sensing for Pearl River Delta Region, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 24-25 February 2012.
    2011 Local Organizing Committee, PRAGMA 20th Workshop cum HKU Centennial IT Conference on Grid Applications and Research Collaboration, 2-4 March 2011.
    2011 Review Panel (with Che, J. and Zhou, Q.), MSc Programme in Earth system Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong, December 2010 – May 2011.
    2010 Promoting Independent Enquiry Learning Skills in the New Senior Secondary Curriculum (NSS) through Satellite Remote Sensing and Geo-information Science, Steering Committee Member, Quality Education Fund and School Partnership RS & GIS Project, March – December 2010.
    2010 Best Student Research Awards, Adjudication Panel, organized by the Hong Kong Geographic Information Systems Association, March 2010.
    2010 ESRI Cup University Student Final Year Project Competition (2009-2010),Adjudication Panel, organized by ESRI China (HK), December 2009 – January 2010.
    2009 Featured in 長者跌倒黑點, (亞視) 2009年12月31日 星期四 20:00, Available:
    2009 Featured in 路上「零」意外之行人防跌篇, Mingpao Weekly 2009, 27 June, Issue 2120, Book B, p.70-73.
    2009 The Youth Learning Project on Pacific Economic Cooperation 2008/09,Adjudication Panel, jointly organized by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and Hong Kong Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation, held at HKFYG Centre, Central, Hong Kong on 3 March 2009.
    2010 User-Centered and Usability-Centred Map Design for Navigation, Invited Speaker, ICA Workshop on Theories of Map Design in Digital Era, held at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong on 23-25 September 2010.
    2009 Application of GIS in the Spatial Distribution of SARS in Hong Kong, Invited Speaker, 6th Annual Scientific Meeting, Stanley Ho Centre for Emergency Infectious Disease, held at the Prince of Wales Hospital, 21 July 2009.
    2009 Geographic Information Systems Application in Public Health, Invited Speaker, Infectious Disease Conference 2009, Hong Kong, organized by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority of Infectious Disease Centre and Johns Hopkins University, held at the Princess Margaret Hospital, 20-22 February 2009.
    2008 Learning Geography with GIS, Keynote Speaker and Workshop Instructor, International Workshop on Geo-spatial Information Technology for Secondary School Education, organized by the Hong Kong Geographical Information Systems Association, 19-20 December 2008.
    2007 Geographic Inquiry Model and Resources for Lesson Design, Invited speaker for the Geographic Information System (GIS) Seminar cum IT in Education Partnership Incentive Scheme Briefing Session, held at the Hong Kong Scout Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong on 10 May 2007.
    2007 GIS in Spatial Epidemiology, Short course on GIS for the Thailand Department of Health, held at the Field Epidemiology Training Program Centre in Bangkok on 22-26 January 2007.
    2007 Geospatial and Fluid Dynamics Modelling of Infectious Diseases, Short course on GIS for the Hong Kong Department of Health, held at the Centre for Health Protection on 18-20 January 2007.
    2006 Using GIS in Data Analysis and Management – A Case Study for Health Monitoring, Invited Speaker, GPS/LBS/GIS Seminar/Showcase, 01 September 2006, Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, Cyberport, Hong Kong.
    2006 OGC Standards and International Experience on the Sharing of GIS Data, Invited Speaker, Open Standard Mobile Map Application Development Seminar, 03 March 2006, Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, Cyberport, Hong Kong.
    2004 GIS in Health Data Analysis and Management, Invited Speaker, CyberiProA Expert Address Series – Geographic Information Systems as an Emerging Trend in Information Technology, 23 October 2004,  HKU SPACE Admiralty Learning Centre.